By Team BitBol
The 11th Pakistan Microfinance & SME Forum 2017 organized by SHAMROCK Conferences International, at the Ramada Hotel in Islamabad, today, concluded on a high note with the State Bank of Pakistan urging all stakeholders to play an active role in promoting MSME finance for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The experts and regulators deliberated upon broad-based solutions for expanding financial inclusion and accelerating growth in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Microfinance sectors. The theme of this conference was “Nurturing entrepreneurship & financial inclusion to empower the masses”.
Over the past ten years, this annual forum has evolved into a powerful platform where the long-standing issues of the sector are debated for achieving tangible results. Opinion formers and professionals praised the new SME Finance Road-Map prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Syed Samar Hasnain, Executive Director, Development Finance Group, who was the guest of honour, said, “The SME Finance Road Map will serve as a guideline and framework for broader financial inclusion, to empower SMEs especially small-scale entrepreneurs. SBP is committed to providing all out support for financial access to 17% of SMEs with SME Finance, at least 17% of the then private sector credit by 2020. Likewise, by 2020, a target of 50% of adult population having a bank account has also been set under NFIS headline target.”
The Chairman of Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), Nadeem Hussain, Chairman, N-Group delivered the key-note address for the Microfinance sector, stressing “Microfinance practitioners must embrace digital technology to get to the next level. The aim has to be to materially customer fulfillment in terms of time and convenience”
Prior to the keynote addresses the Chairman of SHAMROCK Group, Menin Rodrigues gave the Welcome Remarks and appreciated the overwhelming response given by the leading institutions and key stakeholders of the Microfinance and SME sectors, over the years.
This prestigious annual forum was sponsored by BRAC Pakistan, Khushhali Bank Limited and FINCA Microfinance Bank. It also enjoys the support of PMN, SMEDA, and Union of Small & Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) along with various development-finance institutions. Delegates representing; Private Enterprises, Government Ministries, State Bank, Commercial Banks, NBFIs, Trade Associations, FPCCI, academia and the media attended the proceedings.
In the first two sessions “Policy and Regulatory Reforms – Enabling Financial Inclusion” and “Small Businesses Promising Big Solutions”, “Smarter Technologies Promise to Revolutionize Financial Access”, the stakeholders urged the creation of a supportive regulatory environment, to optimize productivity through technological and financial access, as the SMEs have the potential to bring a powerful economic revolution in a developing country like Pakistan.
Eminent speakers included, Nasir Askar, Director, SECP; Shahid Kazi, COO of FINCA Microfinance Bank; Roomi Hayat, CEO, Institute of Rural Management; Rehan Butt, Group Business Director of MicroEnsure; Raja Hassnain Javed, GM & Provincial Chief, SMEDA and Dr. Rakshinda Perveen, Founder of Kafe kam & Gender Consultant.